BACK ON TRACK: Work has resumed on the Lennox Head eco shark barrier after last week's wild weather.
BACK ON TRACK: Work has resumed on the Lennox Head eco shark barrier after last week's wild weather. Marc Stapelberg

Work resumes on controversial shark barrier

WORK on the Lennox Head shark barrier has resumed after last week's wild weather put the project temporarily on hold.

Global Marine Enclosures director Ed Khoury said his team assessed the site on Wednesday for any damage caused by the storm but found everything in order.

Mr Khoury said the set of 24 concrete blocks weighing 2.5 tonnes designed to secure the barrier in place were still "exactly where we left (them) in".

"There were a few things that had sunk but nothing drastic," Mr Khoury said.

"Today we're busy working on the barrier, we've got some chains in, we've repositioned some of the stuff.

"As long as we've got good weather... we're just going to keep on going until we get it sorted.

"What we're doing now is putting the chains and anchors in, and then it's putting the barrier out.

"We're probably around 60% of the way (to completion).

"We're very excited."

Work on the Lighthouse Beach barrier at East Ballina has not yet restarted, however, owing to the water near the entrance to the Richmond River remaining murky after last week's heavy rain.

The project also remains controversial among a group of local surfers who say the barrier will cut right through the outer North Wall break and could easily be damaged by the swell-heavy beach.

But Ballina mayor David Wright has defended the project, saying it deserves to be trialled.

"If it fails, it's got to be cleaned up," he said. "That's part of the contract ... that has been guaranteed by the (DPI) executive director."

Cr Wright noted the two serious attacks that took place off North Wall last year were both on the inside of the planned barrier.

"I believe we've got a duty of care if we've got a proposal to keep the majority of people safe, to put it in," he said.

"If someone is attacked, the aftermath is not just on the victim, there is a whole swag of people affected. I don't want that to happen to anyone else.

"Let's just see if it works."


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